- Agency problems and organizational costs in slave-run businesses
- Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics working paper
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics, University of Amsterdam
- Document type
- Working paper
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE)
Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
We examine the economic organization of slave-run businesses: slaves endowed with certain assets (the peculium). The evidence points predominantly to businesses of small or medium size, suggesting that there must have been some constraints to growth. We identify both agency problems arising within the business organization (governance problems) and agency problems arising between the business organization and its creditors (limited access to finance). We show that, although the praetorian remedies had a remarkable mitigating effect, agency problems operated as a constraint to the expansion of these business organizations, both in terms of individuals involved and in terms of capital invested.
- Also: Amsterdam Law School legal studies research paper No. 2011-40. - October 12, 2011.
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